Mystery surrounds the disappearance and subsequent death of a First Year journalism student at Multimedia University in Kajiado County.
Diana Mumbi Mwangi left her sister’s house in Free Area, Nakuru town in Nakuru County, on November 18 but her family found her body at the Kenyatta National Hospital mortuary on Saturday evening, almost a month after she went missing.
According to her father Peter Mwangi, Ms Mumbi left the Ongata Rongai campus to her sister’s house on November 10 since lecturers had been on strike.
“A week later, on November 18, she left her sister’s house at around 11am and said she was going back to college,” said Mr Mwangi.
He recalled that Mumbi’s sister Doris Mwangi called him in the evening to inform him that she had gone back to school, and even asked him to send her some money for upkeep.
“The next day, at 5.45am, I sent her the money but she did not acknowledge receipt,” said Mr Mwangi. “Later, at 10am, I called her to find out whether she had received the money but calls to her phone were not going through.”
The distraught father called Ms Mumbi’s other number but it was also off. He decided to contact his relatives to find out whether they had heard from her but all of them said they had not.
The following day, Mr Mwangi kept trying to reach his last-born daughter in vain and so he decided to travel from Tana River County, where he works as a bus driver for Garsen High School.
“The first place I visited was her university and, when I did not find her, I decided to go to Nakuru, where she was last seen,” said Mr Mwangi. “I reported the matter the next day at Teachers Police Station under OB number 07/22/11/2017.
“My elder daughter had also recorded a statement on the matter and so police were already investigating. The officer handling the matter said he had tracked her phone to Mangereta in Mtito Andei (Makueni County).”
Since her daughter’s phone was off, Mr Mwangi said, police tracked her handset and told him that a different person was using it.
“When we called the number he said was being used in my daughter’s phone, the respondent said we had dialled a wrong number,” said Mr Mwangi. “The police officer decided to check the call history and told me that the last person my daughter spoke to was called Ahmed, and they had talked for 32 minutes on November 18.
“The officer called that number and the respondent said he was in Mariakani. He said he knew Mumbi, they had met, but he was not with her at that moment.”
He added: “What surprised me is that, instead of the policeman going for the man, he informed him on phone that Mumbi was dead and he would be reached to help police in conducting investigations into her disappearance and death.”
Immediately, the phone was disconnected and switched off, he added.
The next day, Mr Mwangi travelled to Mangereta with police officers and they tracked the phone whose IMEI registration they believed matched Mumbi’s.
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“The tracking gadget pinpointed a disabled man and when police took his phone, I realised it did not resemble my daughter’s. On another check, the officers said the tracking gadget had a technical error,” said Mr Mwangi.
Mr Mwangi returned to Nairobi and decided to seek the assistance of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
However, detectives asked him to report the matter at Karen Police Station, the jurisdiction under which the university falls. The police said they would handle the matter and get back to him. Mr Mwangi decided to continue with the desperate search for his daughter, moving from institution to institution and from hospital to hospital in Nakuru, Mariakani and Nairobi.
“I returned to the DCI headquarters on December 16 and the police told me they had not found my daughter. I decided to start looking for her in mortuaries, which I had initially told myself would be the last place I would search.
“I started at (Nairobi) City Mortuary then KNH. At the latter’s reception, I was told there was a body of an unknown female aged about 22. I requested to see the body and it was, unfortunately and unmistakably, that of my daughter.”
According to the hospital, Ms Mumbi’s body was taken to the mortuary on November 29. The family was told that she was found unconscious at a lodging in Eastleigh on November 19, having been poisoned.
“My poor daughter had been admitted to Ward D of the hospital from November 19 to 27,” said Mr Mwangi. “I do not know what happened to her; whether she was taken to the hospital by police officers or by civilians.
“I also do not know which lodging she had been found or who she was with.”
Doris said her sister had, during her stay in Nakuru, been having lengthy telephone conversations but she never told her whom she spoke with.
“The day before she left, she spoke with someone for a long time,” said Doris. “After I left the house, she told my son that she was going back to college, and that is when I told dad.”